Dickweed Image


By Alan Ng | April 6, 2024

SXSW FILM FESTIVAL 2024 REVIEW! I love true-life crime documentaries when it’s done right. Jonathan Ignatius Green’s documentary, Dickweed, is oh so right in this crime investigation involving weed and dick.

In 2012, in Newport Beach, California, Michael, an owner of a weed dispensary, is kidnapped along with his girlfriend. He’s beaten bloody because his kidnappers want him to give them one million dollars. Michael has nowhere near that amount of money. The two are dragged out into the middle of the desert, and he’s told that unless he gives them the million, they’ll cut his dick off. He can’t, and they do.

Miraculously, the pair is rescued by Kern County police, but Michael’s dick is lost forever. As the police are brought into the home invasion and kidnapping investigation, they find no clues, and Michael is unable to pinpoint anyone in his life who is willing to do this to him.

With absolutely no clues, Newport Beach Detective Sgt. Ryan Peters starts an investigation that takes several lucky and street-smart turns to uncover who did it. It all begins with discovering the smallest needle in the haystack and watching it unfold from there.

Fans of true crime documentaries are in for a roller-coaster of a thrill ride. First, it’s imagery that the brains play within our head that goes on full tilt when describing…and re-enacting Michael getting his dick cut off. Nothing explicit is shown on screen, but just the descriptions of Michael and then-girlfriend Mary are enough to elicit shrieks and groans from the audience.

“…unless he gives them the million, they’ll cut his dick off. He can’t, and they do.”

Documentarian Ignatius Green has a flair for storytelling, and this film is all about how he unpeels this onion. I was engrossed with the story from start to finish. The assailant is apprehended and gives an ominous interview that reveals his almost sociopathic dark side. Suffice it to say there’s a sting operation in play and a prison break. Someone is going to make a feature film of this story, and it would be a crime to make it a comedy.

Along with the assailant’s interview, Green has nothing but compliant witnesses to recount the investigations, including the fascinating detective and district attorney who prosecuted the case. Their candor is refreshing, and whoever plays them in the surefire adaptation will have fun portraying them. Now add to it professionally produced re-enactments, and you have to think that Dickweed is sure to make it to a major streamer…if not for the name.

Selfishly, I took an instant liking to the story because it took place in my backyard here in Orange County, CA. I know every single location where this story took place. Even the secret location where Michael conducted his anonymous shadowy interview showed a building through the window behind him, and…yeah, I know that building.

Of course, a story of a guy getting his dick cut off and thrown into the desert is going to make an excellent documentary. Ignatius Green was just the right person to take the story head-on and turn it into a real-life thriller for all to enjoy and hunch over in pain.

Dickweed screened at the 2024 SXSW Film Festival.


Dickweed (2024)

Directed and Written: Jonathan Ignatius

Starring: Ronald Douglass, John Fantasia, Rizzy Fuentes, etc.

Movie score: 8.5/10

Dickweed Image

"…Green was just the right person to take the story head-on..."

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